Most people’s hair turns grey or white as they age, as the hair follicles cease to produce melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. But some people start seeing their first white hairs before they’re even out of their thirties. Having white hair at a young age can make you stand out from the crowd, but in a few cases it may signal a more serious problem.
In This text we will discus about:
- What actually cause white hair in humans?
- Myths about white hair
- Why Smart people have more white hair then other
- What to do when it grows for the first time
- How to stop white hair from growing in future
The early scientific belief
Before scientific advancement, scientists thought that hair turned grey merely due to less or no production of melanin. Each hair has a separate melanin supply in the body.
With time and age, this supply lessens, producing grey hair, which culminates in complete inability to supply the pigment to the hair, thus causing white hair permanent.
The new scientific belief
Scientists have recently discovered a breakthrough in the aging process of hair. It is now believed that hair lose their pigment not due to decreased production of melanin, but increased production of hydrogen peroxide.
With old age, hydrogen peroxide collects in the hair follicles and cannot be degraded as the enzyme catalase loses its ability to do so. Hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleaching agent and whitens hair from inside out. Hence, the main culprit is the failure of the enzyme catalase to work in old age.
What actually causes white hair in humans?
Role of genes
The pattern of hair color is determined by the family tree since greying of hair is largely dependent on genetics. Genes pretty much determine the melanogenic clock that rings right when our parents’ hair turned gray, so we follow their trademark.
If your hair is prematurely graying or turning white without any disease, stress or hormonal disruption, then perhaps, your DNA is to be blamed. Of course, your off-springs will continue the same genetic path for hair graying as you did.
Having white hair does not always mean that you carry a disease or bodily disruption, but they are just following a set code of instructions from our genes.
Premature graying could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, especially a lack of Vitamin B. If you eat a balanced diet and don’t suffer from malnutrition, you may have pernicious anemia. In this form of anemia, your body is unable to absorb Vitamin B-12 from the bloodstream. Consult your doctor. If you test positive for pernicious anemia, you can have regular injections of B-12 to counteract the deficiency.
If your thyroid fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, you suffer from hypothyroidism. One side effect of hypothyroidism may be prematurely graying hair, according to the University of Michigan Health System. A blood test can diagnose hypothyroidism and you can take medication to make up for the hormone your body doesn’t produce naturally.
When Dr. J. G. Mosley studied patients in the Leigh Infirmary in Lancashire, England in 1996, he noticed a correlation between the patient’s smoking history and the onset of graying hair or hair loss. Though Dr. Mosley could not prove that smoking caused gray hair, he did note that the smokers in his survey turned gray at an earlier age.
With a hectic routine, tension of exams and stress about tight deadlines, graying of hair does seem an automatic phenomenon. Scientifically, the confusing connection between mental stress and hair aging has reaped many theories.
For one thing that is true: Stress does cause hair to go white. It has been proven with the help of many experiments that the main governing factor for the hair aging in every individual is his/her genetic make-up and overall health status. Stress can only partly accelerate or decelerate hair graying.
The mechanism of how stress causes hair whitening is still unknown. Many studies revealed that wherever the stress is generated in the body, the melanocytes migrate from hair follicles towards the area of stress, i.e. damaged tissue.
Hence, lack of melanocyte means lack of pigmentation in the hair. The more the level and duration of stress, the more apparent will be the outcome in terms of hair unpigmentation. Also, stress is also known to kill body’s stem cell store.
Stem cells are nascent cells that mature into any kind of cells needed by the body. Lack of stem cells also lessens the production of new melanocytes, thus hinders rich hair pigmentation.
Lets Clear the Myths about the white hair
Hair can turn gray or white within one night
It has been believed from a century that “panic” can be the cause of turning hair gray or white. Elaborately, we can say that if any person has a bad experience of fright in a night, he may become the victim of white or gray hair.
This is nothing but a superstition because “hair” is called as a dead cells and the dead tissue cannot produce anything. The scientist named Marie Antoinette believe that the color of hair is occurred genetically or it turns into white or gray after reaching in a certain age of human beings and so, there is no relationship between the change of hair color and a night only.
Two gray hairs grow back if one is plucked
If people get a gray hair, they will eagerly want to pluck it quickly. Some people think that if you pluck one gray hair, then it will grow two gray hairs in the same place later and that is the common myth about hair gray.
The cosmetic scientist named Randy Schueller says that no problem will occur if you pluck one gray hair, then there is no possibility to grow more in the same place.
Again he states that if you are lucky enough, then you can get, the more blackest hairs by removing one gray because in melanogenesis process where follicles create more pigments for changing the hair color quickly and will get back to you the black hair as well.
Hair turns gray just later of Trauma
There is a fictitious matter found in the old age that the hair starts to change its color just after having been a gothic experience of a person. We cannot believe this kind of worthless tales, considering that just only a little traumatic experience is being responsible for growing gray hair as it has no scientific record.
It is undoubtedly true that excessive stress is related to growing gray hair, but it is impossible for changing the hair color from a maximum portion of the head just being faced with a one traumatic incident.
Menopause causes gray hair
The earliest myth known “menopause causes gray hair” which is recently invented as a false approach. Yes, of course, menopause is the symbol of becoming old, but it does not prove that gray hair will be kept around in this process.
It is known to all that when the people become aged, they do not have the ability to produce the proper portion of catalase. So, in the old age, our hair turns into gray in color normally.
Excessive sun ray causes gray hair
Though the sunshine produce harmful rays and the access sunlight fades the color of the human body, there is no scientific discovery found that excessive sun ray causes for growing gray hair.
This message will give benefits to the people who do not agree to come out from home without covering their head, like adding a hat and keeping scurf (concerning ladies) in the extreme sunlight. Now, they can dare to come out during heavy sunlight by forgetting this myth.
Why Smart people have more white hair then the rest
It is known that smart people have more white hair then the other who simply are stuck in the usual daily routine and don’t want to get out from the comfort zone.
There is very simple answer of the question why smart people have more white hair and more often then the rest. It is just because they are out of the regular daily life, and they confront much more stressed situations, they are not consuming the enough amount of vitamins for the day because they are over occupied with their tasks and they are not eating normal, they are not so social friendly like the rest of the people, and even they are their circle of friends are usually people like them, so again they are living the same life.
But to be honest, if you think you are smart person this is nothing to worry about, because white hair can not make harm to us in any case, so just…stay positive!
What to do when grey hair grows the first time?
If you are a child, teenager, adult or aged person and suddenly locates few grey or white strands of hair, you can get really depressed about what to do at first. Haphazard management of graying hair can tarnish hair health and growth.
The matter needs to be dealt with responsibly and smartly. At first, don’t be sad and decide if you want to cover up your silver hair or let them show. If you want to cover up, choose a hair color sensibly and try an ammonia-free dye.
Avoid hair plucking as it can damage hair follicles – rather, cut your grey hair carefully. Also, do not neglect your diet. Remember, your hair is still the same, only the pigment is gone. Therefore, don’t forget to incorporate vitamins and proteins in your routine intake.
How to stop white hair from coming back?
Prevention is always better than cure. Taking a smart and easy preventive measures can save many regrets of graying hair. Following are few of them. Learn more about white hair treatment.
Increase mineral intake
Minerals are needed in small amounts by the body, but are crucial for our health in many ways. In terms of hair, melanin is required for pigmentations. For melanin to function appropriately, copper is required.
Hence, balanced diet is the solution to all health problems. Copper works with an enzyme to transform tyrosine to melanin. Zinc, like copper, is also an integral mineral required regularly for hair. Switch to green vegetables, sunflower seeds, chicken, wheat, eggs, beef, etc. to boost your mineral intake.
Get rid of stress
Stress can not only affect the body mentally and emotionally, it can also damage hair internally. To avoid premature graying of hair, avoid stress as much as possible. This can be done by being proactive and taking things positively.
Exercise can be very helpful too, along with a good diet. Yoga and meditation can also be the solution. Trying to ward off stressful situations is very comforting in many ways for the human body. Thus, lower down stress levels by busying yourself with other constructive activity as much as possible.
Incorporate fresh juices
Intake of juices is an amazing way to keep the body hydrated. This does not include soda water and alcohol. Excessive caffeine-products like tea and coffee should be avoided when possible. Try to eat or rather drink fresh fruit juices regularly to help hair glow from inside out.
It is reported that carrot juice makes hair healthy and delays hair whitening. Fruit juices must be a major portion of daily food intake.
Get more iodine
Iodine stabilizes thyroid functioning. Thyroid hormones are necessary for body’s balanced metabolism. Hence, increasing iodine intake is a good way of keeping the body in tune, especially the hair.
Add fish in your weekly menu and try to opt for iodize table salt for cooking and seasoning. Iodine can overcome rapidly greying hair as in one’s 20s or even 30s.
Oil and massage
Oiling hair every once in a while brings back the healthy shine and regulates the blood supply of hair follicles, thus improving hair growth and stability. Amla oil is very famous for hair health. Massaging hair with amla juice and lemon juice stops hair graying to a great extent.
Also, freshly crushed amla fruit is a natural hair conditioner that can be massaged in the white hair over the scalp to combat depigmentation. Avoid chemicals in shampoos and other hair care products and shift towards natural oils and fruits for hair massaging.